Pioneer Woman's restaurant and shop bustling
THE MERCANTILE IN PAWHUSKA
Road trip: The great adage “if you build it, the people will come” is ringing loud and clear in Pawhuska, as thousands of people per day throng to the town to view Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, and Ladd Drummond's and the family's latest project. The visitors are standing in line at the restaurant to taste Ree's yummy recipes (big fluffy pancakes for breakfast with three kinds of syrup); to shop in the chandelier-decked general store and the bakery/candy shop. Our group had breakfast (those pancakes as an appetizer) and then lunch. Chicken-fried steak and gravy, grilled cheese sandwich, tuna melt and cinnamon rolls and cowboy coffee. Comfort food rules! (My cup of coffee was the best cup of coffee that I have ever had.)
Blog: If you have been reading the popular Pioneer Woman's blog and The Oklahoman articles, you will know that Drummond and her husband bought the building in downtown Pawhuska, renovated it and opened for business a couple of weeks ago. Her blog detailed the preserving of many of the parts of the building and the building's progress.
Friendly folks: Kurtess Mortensen, the restaurant manager, (Ree was not in the store, but was filming her television show) showed us around and noted that every day he wakes up and “feels blessed” to be part of the store's operations. He said they employ 185 people and that the day we visited (on a Tuesday) was a slow day (4,600). The first day 10,000 people came through and one day last weekend, there were 12,000 people.
Store: Pioneer Woman's dishes, blouses, bracelets, signed cookbooks and children's books are in stock and there's a great gift-wrapping component across one wall. Sunflower and other flowery wrapping paper added the right touch for a souvenir from The Mercantile. There were also Drummond family ranch hats and work gloves. There were many other items available, not just PW brands, and one shopper noted, “everything in the store was something you could use in your home.” Children's items were from stuffed Charlie's (one of Ree's dogs) to children's cooking toys. One of the Drummond's daughters was working upstairs in the bakery.
Consensus: We cannot wait to go back! The Mercantile with the Pioneer Woman brand is a huge success! Way-to-go Drummonds! And way-to-go Ree Drummond! Keep blogging and cooking. Your millions of loyal and very devoted fans, including our road trip crew, cannot wait to see what you'll come up with next. It is a few miles off the beaten path to go for a great cup of coffee, but well worth the trip. And Kurtess reports that you spent over 400 hours testing and refining all the recipes you are offering at the restaurant. That attention to detail totally agreed with our stomachs. The menu is exceptional.